Anime OVA Review: Love Hina: Christmas Movie

Love Hina: Christmas Movie is an OVA released for the Love Hina anime franchise in Japan.

Love Hina: Christmas Movie
English Publisher: Bandai Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: December 3, 2002

As the title states, this OVA is set during the Christmas season. There’s a rumor going around that if you make a wish on Christmas Eve that it will come true, and this plays an important part in the story.

While snooping around for presents, Kaolla and Sara discover a letter as part of a present in Naru’s room. While quickly scanning the contents, they pick up on the word “love” and assume that the present is meant for Keitaro. They share this information with the other tenants at Hinata Apartments, and this affects Shinobu the most since she has had a crush on Keitaro for quite a while at this point in the franchise. At one point, she blurts out to Keitaro about the gift and that Naru is in love with him.

After Keitaro injures his leg, he blurts out to Naru that he’s in love with her. She quickly leaves to go home and stays away for a few days. When she comes back, it’s Christmas Eve, as well as the day of the practice test for the Tokyo University entrance exam. Keitaro, Naru, and Matsumi take the exam, and the others at the Hinata Apartments watch to see Naru give Keitaro the present… but things don’t go as planned, and hijinks ensue.

The climax of the OVA sees Keitaro and Naru only having five minutes remaining to share their true feelings and have their Christmas Eve wish come true.

It had been a while since I watched the Love Hina anime, so it was helpful that Love Hina: Christmas Movie worked at reminding the audience who the various characters are and their personalities. It didn’t feel quite so jarring that way.

Overall, this OVA fits into the feel of the overall Love Hina franchise, but it also utilizes some of the usual rom com tropes in its storytelling. But do they really have practice tests for school entrance exams for Japanese schools on Christmas Eve? That’s one thing that I’m not sure whether it rings true or not, or if it’s a contrivance.

I also liked the idea of Keitaro having a secret job during the holiday season in order to make some extra money. I especially liked seeing the reason why he was trying to make that money, because it becomes an important plot point later in the OVA.

When it comes to this DVD release, there are a couple of bonus features included. One is the textless ending for Love Hina: Christmas Movie. The other is Episode 25 of the Love Hina anime. Episode 25 was later included on FUNimation Entertainment’s box set release of the Love Hina anime. So if you have the FUNimation set, the inclusion of this bonus feature doesn’t gain you anything. Packaged in the DVD box is a Love Hina 2003 calendar.

It’s not a bad Christmas themed OVA, but it will definitely only really be of interest to viewers who have already watched the Love Hina anime series.

Additional posts about Love Hina:

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